– by Tom Forehand Watchman Fellowship, Inc. Nashville, TN
One of the chief unbiblical tenants of the New Age movement is
the belief that all of us have probably lived before in previous
human lives and that we will probably do so again.
What does this doctrine involve? Belief that the:
A. Soul is an immortal part of “god” which is everything
B. Soul “transmigrates”. Transmigration “…the Hindu doctrine
from which reincarnation originated…teaches that each
successive cycle may result in the soul [re]incorporating itself
in organic or inorganic life, meaning anything from a chicken to
a rock,” (LARSON’S BOOK OF CULTS, p.53).
C. Soul has a sin debt. This debt is “karma” and is viewed as a
punishment in this life for evils done in the past life, with a
prospect for purification for future lives.
“The Law of Karma is the immutable law that a person pays for
evil he does in this life by suffering for it in the next life.
If he is reborn as a worm or as a blind girl, this is the Karma.
No one can pay his Karmic debt for him. All the suffering he
experiences in this life is his own fault. The Law of Karma will
always catch up with him. There is no escape,” (Morey,
REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY, P. 11).
D. Soul seeks perfection. The soul is trying to reach Moksha or
a final state of deliverance from the cycle of reincarnations.
This state may be reached by working off Karma (by a gradual
evolutionary process which may take millions of years).
Buddhists call this state “Nirvana” or “cessation” or
“extinction,” (Geisler and Nix, THE REINCARNATION SENSATION, p.
Was this doctrine ever part of the Bible or Christian tradition?
Many New Agers, such as Shirley MacLaine, make this claim.
Though orthodox Christians have a hard time accepting all of
theologian Origen’s doctrines, some two hundred years after the
time of Christ, he rejected today’s New Age claim.
He responded to the reincarnationist’s charge that John the
Baptist was actually a reincarnation of Elijah when he wrote:
“In this place it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul
is spoken of, lest I should fall into the dogma of
transmigration, which is foreign to the church of God, and not
handed down by the Apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the
Scriptures,” (Commentary on Matthew in THE ANTE-NICENE FATHERS
edited by Allan Menzies, Vol. X, p. 474).
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